Cherokee freshman creates journalistic artwork

Parikh encapsulates the year 2020 through a collage of language.

Kavya Parikh stands beside her art piece “Generation Misinformation”, which highlights headlines from The New York Times articles during the surges and pivots of the pandemic. (Kavya Parikh/ Special to The Sun)

“Rampage In Capitol Leads To Evacuations” and “Hospitals Short Of Technicians For Ventilators” are just two of The New York Times headlines Cherokee High School freshman Kavya Parikh decided to include in her “Generation Misinformation” art piece. 

“Art is a great way to express myself, so during the pandemic, I found that I really like to use my art in a socially conscious way,” she noted.

Parikh incorporated language from the news media in a collage of words that resonated with her and showcases a year in the pandemic. Parikh designed two art pieces while stuck at home during quarantine and both point to her historic generation, she explained. 

The impact of COVID, national protests against social injustice, a presidential election and the storming of the U.S. Capitol are only a few of the events Parikh emphasized in her art.

“I went through months of The New York Times articles, and I took everything that I possibly could from those articles that really tell the whole story in just the headline,” she noted. “When I was putting them onto the board, I was putting them wherever it felt right.”

Before quarantine, Parikh thought the news was boring, but after watching too much of “ABC World News Tonight” with her parents, she took an interest in political issues and decided to use journalism in her artwork. 

While the media is supposed to make people aware of current topics, Parikh discovered there’s a variety of contradictions in the news, and that led her to use the title “Generation Misinformation.”

“I think a lot of people, especially my generation, never know what is necessarily right and what is necessarily wrong,” Parikh said. “The title really embodies that.”

Parikh’s first art piece, which helped shape “Generation Misinformation,” is called “A Lexicon of a Novel Virus,” a U.S.-shaped collage that assimilates different vocabulary words frequently used by the media, government, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

For certain phrases she incorporated into her collage, like “Your voice has power” and “Black Lives Matter,” Parikh used a bold font to create a visual emphasis behind the meaning.

“Those words I will never forget that I’ve heard so many times,” she said.

The goal for Parikh’s two art pieces is to have a lasting impact on future generations, so they see and understand what the world went through during 2020.

“My main goal is to make sure that my kids and their kids will have a way to understand what is happening right now,” she revealed. “Since there’s nothing I can do to get rid of this pandemic, I think we just have to take this pandemic and learn from it.”

Parikh donated “A Lexicon of a Novel Virus” to the Evesham Township Library, where it’s currently hung, and is seeking requests from other local libraries to  house “Generation Misinformation.”